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Running Toilet, fluidmaster, flapper

Updated on August 4, 2017

Running Toilet

 What is a running toilet? How do I determine if I have a running toilet?

This is a very common problem in toilets, in fact, it is the most common problem.

The phrase "running toilet" mean that water is running from the tank to the toilet bowl continually. Most of the time, the running water is not visible, therefore, most people fail to proper identify the problem.

Sometimes, a running toilet is more visible than others, the water can clearly be seen running into the toilet bowl.

Another way to determine if your toilet has a water running problem is by listening how often the water fills the tank by itself. In fact, the water should never fill the tank on its own, if this happens, then, the toilet plumbing is defective. 



What is the problem?

If the toilet tank is constantly being filled with water, this means that, the toilet fill valve, also known as: fluid master or the flapper ball or even both are defective.

As I said before, this is a very common problem in toilets. Why that happens? The most common reason is the age of the parts and the level of hard water, however, once in a while, a new toilet with such a problem, might means that the fluid master and/or flapper ball came deffective from factory.


What to Replace First?

I would recommend to replace the flapper ball first because, it is the easiest and cheapest part of the two, however, depending of the condition of both parts, I would strongly recommend to replace both of them.

You can find both parts at any major grocery store, for example: walmart but, you can also find at Home Depot and Lowes.

The price for a good flapper ball is around $5.00 to $10.00 and the Fluidmaster is around $15.00 to $20.00.

Flapper with the round ring
Flapper with the round ring
Flapper without the ring
Flapper without the ring

Replacing a Flapper Ball

To replace a flapper ball, you will one tool, which is a box cutter, to cut the round rubber ring located in the back of the flapper.

The replacement of the flapper shouldn't take more than 5 minutes.

1 - Shut the water off at the angle stop valve located on the wall by the base of the toilet.

2 - Flush the water out of the tank completely.

3 - Remove the chain from the handle and pull the old flapper out.

4 - Cut out the ring located in the back of the flapper, this will allow you to install the new flapper in the place of the old one.

5 - Install the new flapper and connect the chain in the handle. Make sure to adjust the chain according to the proper function of the flapper. Do not let the chain hanging in the bottom of the tank and do not adjust the chain to tense, leave the chain hanging a little bit. 



Replacing a Fluidmaster

To replace a fluidmaster, you will need the following tools: a box cutter, a pair of pliers (channel locks), a small bucket and some towels.

Parts: A new fluidmaster and a water supply line.

1 - Shut the water off at the angle stop located on the wall by the base of the toilet.

2 - Flush the water out of the tank completely and use a couple towels to dry the rest of the water from the tank.

3 - Unscrew the water supply line from the bottom of the fluidmaster.

4 - Unscrew the fluidmaster from the bottom of the tank.

5 - Remove the old fluidmaster out of the tank.

6 - Remove the new fluidmaster out of the box, you should have an angle adaptor, a refil tube (black straw), a nut and washer (black gasket).

7 - Remove the center section of the black rubber gasket and insert it through the threads of the fluidmaster tube.

8 - Insert the fluidmaster through the hole of the tank and tighten it from the bottom until if really firm.

9 - Using the box cutter, cut the right extension of the refill tube and connect the tube between the fluid-master and the angle adaptor. Connect the angle adaptor with the center piece of the tank.

10 - Connect the supply line with the bottom of the until is firmly attached to it.

11 - Turn the water back on and adjust the level of the water inside the tank accordingly.

12 - Check for leaks, if none, job well done.

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      GeoWhetstine 5 years ago

      I have to change the seat in my water closet as my old one has gotten a very slow leak. I purchased a Fluidmaster sealant ring (part 2602) which is compliant with the Fluidmaster fill and flapper assembly. However,the instructions and diagram on the back of the package are really,truly,obtuse. I have no idea by looking at this so I'm going to move ahead using a little common sense and hopefully good luck.However I would think that an engineering department that could develop this design could do a better job with their directions. Evidently not.